Illegitimi non carborundum

Illegitimi non carborundum is a mock-Latin aphorism, often translated as “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. The phrase itself has no meaning in Latin and can only be mock-translated as a Latin–English pun.

In honor of April Fools Day I give you this phrase that originated during World War Two. It is attributed to British army intelligence very early in the war (using the dative plural illegitimis)!

The phrase was adopted by US Army General “Vinegar” Joe Stilwell as his motto during the war, in the form Illegitimati non carborundum. It was later further popularized in the US by 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater – somehow I don’t see that phrase being correct these days.

Now some real Latin for you

Vincit qui se vincit.

He conquers who conquers himself.

Stay Thirsty!


Wally Adamchik


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